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Adopting a child is a profound and life-changing decision that brings joy, love, and fulfilment to many families.
In San Antonio, Texas, the process is carefully designed to ensure that children are placed in safe, loving, and permanent homes.
Whether you are considering domestic, international, or foster care adoption, understanding the steps involved is crucial.

This blog outlines the essential stages of the adoption process in San Antonio, providing prospective adoptive parents with a clear roadmap to navigate this rewarding journey.

How Adoptions Work

In San Antonio, Texas, the process follows the general steps of deciding to adopt, completing a home study, matching with a child, and finalizing it in court.

Prospective adoptive parents must work with a licensed adoption agency or attorney. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) plays a crucial role in overseeing adoptions, especially those from the foster care system.

Steps in Adoption in San Antonio, Texas

1. Decide to Adopt

The first step in the adoption process is making the decision to adopt. This involves careful consideration and discussion among prospective adoptive parents. They should assess their readiness to provide a loving and stable home for a child and determine the type of adoption they are interested in (domestic, international, or foster care).

2. Choose an Adoption Agency or Attorney

Prospective adoptive parents must select a licensed adoption agency or an attorney specializing in adoption in San Antonio.
These professionals will guide them through the process, providing essential services and support. Agencies and attorneys can offer different types of adoption services, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your goals.

3. Complete a Home Study

A home study is a mandatory process where a social worker evaluates the prospective parents’ home environment, background, lifestyle, and readiness for adoption. In San Antonio, the home study includes:
  • Background checks and fingerprinting
  • Interviews with family members
  • Home visits to assess living conditions
  • Review of financial stability
  • Health examinations
  • References from friends and family

4. Attend Pre-Adoption Training

In Texas, prospective adoptive parents are required to complete pre-adoption training. This training covers various aspects of parenting an adopted child, including understanding the needs of adopted children, dealing with trauma, and navigating the legal aspects of adoption.
The training ensures parents are well-prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of adoption.

5. Match with a Child

Once the home study and training are complete, the matching process begins. The adoption agency or attorney will help identify a child whose needs align with the prospective parents’ capabilities and preferences. In foster care adoptions, this involves reviewing the profiles of children available for adoption and meeting potential matches.

6. Pre-Placement Visits

Before finalizing the adoption, prospective parents will have pre-placement visits with the child. These visits allow both the child and the adoptive family to become acquainted and build a bond. The number and duration of these visits can vary based on the needs of the child and the family.

7. Placement of the Child

After successful pre-placement visits, the child is placed with the adoptive family. During this period, the family will have ongoing support and supervision from the adoption agency or social worker.
This supervision ensures that the child is adjusting well to the new home and that the adoptive family is providing the necessary care and support.

8. Post-Placement Supervision

Post-placement supervision typically lasts six months in Texas. During this time, a social worker will conduct regular visits to monitor the child’s adjustment and the family’s integration.
The social worker will provide support, address any concerns, and ensure that the placement is stable and beneficial for the child.

9. Finalize the Adoption in Court

The final step is the legal finalization of the adoption. After the post-placement supervision period, the adoption agency or attorney will file a petition to finalize the adoption.
A court hearing will be scheduled, where a judge will review the case, ensure that all legal requirements have been met, and issue a final adoption decree. This decree legally establishes the adoptive parents as the child’s permanent parents.

10. Post-Adoption Support

After the adoption is finalized, many families benefit from post-adoption support services. These services can include counseling, support groups, educational resources, and assistance with any issues that may arise as the family adjusts to their new dynamics. In San Antonio, various organizations and agencies offer post-adoption support to help families thrive.
Adopting a child in San Antonio, Texas, is a structured and supportive process aimed at creating stable and loving families.
While the journey may seem complex, understanding each step—from deciding to adopt to finalizing the adoption in court—can make the process more manageable and less daunting.
With the guidance of experienced adoption agencies and attorneys, along with the support of community resources, prospective parents can confidently navigate their way to welcoming a new member into their family.
Adoption not only transforms the lives of children but also enriches the lives of adoptive parents, creating bonds that last a lifetime.

How Much Do Adoptions Cost?

In San Antonio, the cost of adoption can vary. Domestic private adoptions may range from $20,000 to $50,000, while international adoptions can cost between $20,000 and $40,000.
Adopting from the Texas foster care system is generally less expensive, often costing $0 to $2,500. The state of Texas provides subsidies and financial assistance for adopting children from foster care, which can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Are Adoptions Expensive?

Adoptions can be expensive, particularly private and international adoptions. In San Antonio, these costs include legal fees, agency fees, home study fees, and travel expenses.
However, adopting from the Texas foster care system is more affordable due to state subsidies. Prospective parents can also explore grants, loans, and federal adoption tax credits to help manage the costs.

How Long Do Adoptions Take?

The adoption timeline in San Antonio varies. Domestic private adoptions can take a few months to several years, depending on the circumstances and availability of a match.
International adoptions often take one to two years or longer. Adopting from Texas foster care may take six months to a year, influenced by the child’s legal status and the completion of necessary legal procedures.

Are Adoptions Free?

In San Antonio, adoptions are generally not free. While adopting from Texas foster care is the least costly and may even be subsidized, private and international adoptions involve significant expenses.
However, financial assistance, grants, loans, and tax credits are available to help offset these costs for adoptive families.

Are Adoptions Increasing?

Adoption trends in San Antonio reflect broader national patterns. Domestic adoptions have seen a slight increase, while international adoptions have decreased due to stricter regulations in many countries. Foster care adoptions remain steady, supported by ongoing efforts from organizations like DFPS to place children in permanent homes.

How Many Adoptions Happen a Year?

In San Antonio and across Texas, adoption statistics reflect a significant number of adoptions each year. Nationally, there are approximately 135,000 adoptions annually, with a large portion being foster care adoptions. In Texas, thousands of children are adopted from the foster care system each year, supported by the state’s robust adoption programs.

Are Adoptions Reversible?

Adoptions are intended to be permanent, including in San Antonio. However, in rare cases, adoptions can be reversed through a legal process known as “adoption dissolution” or “disruption.”

This might occur if the adoptive parents are unable to meet the child’s needs or if the adoption was fraudulent or coercive. Legal counsel should be sought in such cases.

Are Adoptions Public Record?

Adoption records in San Antonio are typically sealed to protect the privacy of all parties involved. However, adult adoptees can often access their records through a court order or mutual consent registries. Texas law allows for some openness in adoption records, facilitating access to information under certain conditions.

The Role of a Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas Adoption

An adoption lawyer in San Antonio Texas plays a crucial role in the adoption process in San Antonio. Their responsibilities include:
  1. Legal Guidance: 

    A lawyer provides essential legal advice throughout the adoption process. They help prospective parents understand their rights and obligations, ensuring they comply with Texas adoption laws.

  2. Documentation

    Lawyers assist with the preparation and review of all necessary legal documents. This includes the adoption petition, consent forms, and any other paperwork required by the court.

  3. Representation in Court

    During the court hearing to finalize the adoption, a lawyer represents the adoptive parents, presenting the case to the judge and addressing any legal questions that arise.

  4. Facilitating Communication

    Lawyers act as intermediaries between adoptive parents, birth parents, adoption agencies, and the court. They ensure clear and effective communication among all parties involved.

  5. Resolving Legal Issues

    If any legal issues or disputes arise during the adoption process, a lawyer provides the expertise needed to resolve them efficiently and effectively.

  6. Ensuring Compliance

    Lawyers ensure that all steps of the adoption process comply with state and federal laws, helping to prevent any legal complications that could jeopardize the adoption.

Adopting a child in San Antonio, Texas, is a structured and supportive process aimed at creating stable and loving families. While the journey may seem complex, understanding each step—from deciding to adopt to finalizing the adoption in court—can make the process more manageable and less daunting.
With the guidance of experienced adoption agencies and attorneys, along with the support of community resources, prospective parents can confidently navigate their way to welcoming a new member into their family. Adoption not only transforms the lives of children but also enriches the lives of adoptive parents, creating bonds that last a lifetime.

Are you considering adoption in San Antonio, Texas? Partner with Tess House Law, PLLC for expert legal guidance and support throughout your adoption journey. Attorney Artessia “Tess” House and her team are dedicated to advocating for children and families, ensuring that every adoption is conducted with care, compassion, and legal expertise.

Contact Tess House Law, PLLC today at (210) 249-2985 or visit us at 6840 San Pedro, San Antonio, Texas 78216 to schedule a consultation. Let us help you navigate the adoption process and make your dream of expanding your family a reality.

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Tess House Law

Author Tess House Law

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